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Mask Acne and Skin Irritations

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Wearing a mask in public or when with others outside your household is essential in helping to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus.  However, wearing masks for extended periods of time can cause skin issues, so much so that there is a new trendy term to describe it:  “Maskne” (mask acne).

Sweating or breathing into a mask for an extended period can create a humid breeding ground for bacteria. This can result in cell break down and clogged pores which lead to black heads and acne breakouts, even for those who have lived a life of clear skin.  Friction from the mask that is too loose or does not fit properly can cause a breakdown of the skin’s protective barrier, resulting in skin rashes, breakouts and skin irritations.

What Can I Do To Prevent Mask Acne or Skin Irritations?

  1. Avoid using harsh or drying soap.  Certain cleansers can strip protective oils from your skin which are necessary to keep your protective barrier in-tact. If your skin feels dry or tight after washing, it is not the right cleanser for you. Using a harsh product can make your skin even more sensitive to mask friction.
  2. Wash your mask regularly! Re-using a mask that has make-up, debris or skin oils on it can create the perfect breakout environment.  Silk masks and some high-grade cottons are typically more gentle on the skin.
  3. Take off your mask when you are not with others. Put it in the sun (like on the dash of your car while driving…) The UV rays will help to kill the bacteria until you can wash it that evening. This is perfect for times when you have been sweating during a work-out, or exposed to summer heat! Let the sun zap some of the bacteria for you!
  4. Choose masks that fit properly!!! Masks that are too big will rub and cause friction, not to mention that loose masks DO NOT give proper protection to you or those around you. Your mask should fit snuggly around all the edges of mask.
  5. Apply a moisturizer. Moisturizers with ceramides like Replenishing Cream or Revive Recovery Complex from Dr. Castillo’s skincare line can help form a protective layer between your skin and mask and reduce irritations since ceramides are lipids that form the skin’s protective barrier. Products like Ultra-Hydration Booster (hyaluronic acid) can offer some soothing hydration to more intense acne breakouts to reduce irritation.  Replenishing Cream also helps to reduce sebum and provides anti-bacterial properties to reduce break-outs.
  6. Use a physical sunscreen formulated with zinc oxide. Zinc Oxide has anti-inflammatory properties that can both soothe and heal and will provide a buffer between your skin and areas where your mask rubs like the bridge of your nose, behind your ears, your cheeks, chin and jawline.  Avoid chemical sunscreens as the chemicals can create irritations and burning sensations.
  7. Let your moisturizer and sunscreen dry completely in between layers and before putting on your mask.
  8. Apply Clarifying Mint Mask (available at Dr. Castillo’s office) 1-2 times per week. This mask is formulated to purify, deep-clean, gently remove dead cells and minimize pore size, all while delivering a much-needed dose of moisture.
  9. Be careful with “home-spa” chemical peels and exfoliants. Aggressive exfoliation can compromise the skin’s barrier making it easy to develop or increase acne breakouts and irritations.
  10. Seek medical professional skincare advice / treatments to control your skin concerns during this time if at-home care does not resolve your skin issues.

 

Roxanne Grace Hammond,
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY http://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

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